So, no biggie, there might be a ninth planet in our solar system. WHAT?!? I would say there IS a ninth planet, but it has yet to actually be seen.
No, I’m not talking about poor, downgraded to dwarf planet, Pluto (don’t worry, Pluto, I still believe in you). I’m talking about the “hidden” planet known as Ninth Planet.
If it’s hidden, you ask, how then do we know there is (might be) a ninth planet out there? This sneaky, huge planet is leaving a trail.
Astronomers, including Mike “Pluto Killer” Brown (the scientist who embarrassed poor Pluto by discrediting it as a “real” planet), think they have found its orbital pattern, which is 30 degrees off of the orbits of the other planets. It is approximately (and hypothetically) 40 lightyears away, and its large pull, with the 30 degree difference, is what makes the sun appear to tilt (I’ve never noticed a tilty sun, but they are the experts).
The overwhelming evidence seems to be in the Kuiper Belt (yeah, I didn’t know what that was either). This is the area past Neptune (including poor Pluto) where icy, frozen things like to hang out. There is something big out there, like a Planet Nine for example, that is scrambling this area with an apparent gravitational pull.
It has been estimated that Planet Nine (if it exists … which I like to think it does) is 10-15 times the size of earth. It would have to have a HUGE orbit, 20 times farther from the sun than that of Neptune, taking 10,000 to 20,000 years (Earth years) to orbit the sun.
Also, no big deal, it may be the driving force in the destruction of our solar system. Never fear, however, this would occur after our sun dies, along with earth and everything on it. We won’t be here to see it happen anyway!
Now, this is all hypothetical, of course. There are, however, individuals who believe it’s not IF, but WHEN Planet Nine will come out of hiding. These astronomers continue to search, using the most powerful telescopes and the most high-tech mapping systems available.
I don’t know about you, but I’m rooting for Planet Nine. How awesome would such a discovery be during our lifetime! To be a small part of the civilization that discovers only the third planet since ancient times would be incredibly unbelievable. Come on, astronomers, you got this!